Clergyman David Jenkins’ 125-mile race challenge to help Ipswich night shelter project

Venerable Dr David Jenkins, Archdeacon of Sudbury (second from right)with colleagues who are racing

Venerable Dr David Jenkins, Archdeacon of Sudbury (second from right)with colleagues who are racing with him on his challenge this year. - Credit: Photo: � Keith Mindham Photogr

An archdeacon is racing 125 miles across the region this year to support the voluntary work of Christians who open their churches as night shelters for the homeless in Ipswich.

The Venerable Dr David Jenkins, Archdeacon of Sudbury, is being joined by fellow runners – including vicars, diocesan staff and friends – from across Suffolk for five 10k races and, for the more experienced runners, five half marathons, too.

The challenge started on New Year’s Day at the Wymondham 10k and during the year the team will compete at Ipswich, Stowmarket, Bungay, Norwich, Colchester, Great Bentley, Southend and other places.

Mr Jenkins, 52, who lives with his wife Sarah and three children at Great Whelnetham and belongs to the running club Bury Pacers, took part in a similar challenge last year to raise £5,000 for Autism Suffolk.

He said: “This is a very exciting and somewhat daunting challenge in aid of a very worthwhile cause.

“I hope that not only can we raise some money but that more importantly we can raise the profile of homelessness in our towns and villages and in particular of the excellent work of Ipswich Night Shelter.

“We decided not to do ten 10k races again, but to raise the bar a little so we there will be two threads to this.

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“I am very keen that anyone who wants to participate and run can feel able to do so, so one group will run five 10k races during 2015 and a more experienced and slightly madder group will run five half marathons.”

The Rt Revd Dr David Thomson, Acting Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, has funded running vests and the Night Shelter project has provided runners with t-shirts with the shelter logo on.

Runners taking part include Charlotte Hodgson, assistant secretary for the diocesan advisory committee; Rev Dave Gardner, diocese Director of Mission; Liz Baalham, a PA; solicitor David Wilson; Eric Falla and James Soanes, who both work at the diocesan offices in Ipswich; Rev Canon Gregg Webb; Rev Sharon Potter; and Drew Quayle, headteacher of Bures Church of England School.